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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  May 21, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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find out if he had a gun or not, i could very well be dead. there's something that we always say: "i'd rather be tried by twelve than carried by six." >> whitaker: this past week, a tulsa jury of 12-- after deliberating for nine hours-- found officer shelby not guilty of manslaughter in terence crutcher's death. i'm bill whitaker. stick around. we'll be back in a moment with another new edition of "60 minutes."
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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. captioned by media access group at wgbh
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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> brazil's president and other leading politicians have been implicated in a massive government corruption investigation involving billionses of dollars in bribes. the judge in charge says only hollywood could have imagined such an outrageous story. >> it was like that movie, the untouchables. >> you are walking too a world of trouble. and there's no turning back, you understand? >> yes, i do. >> you've watched "the untouchables."
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>> yes, a great movie. >> how many times were you arrested. >> numerous. >> five, ten, 15. >> over a hundred, let's say over a hundred. >> how are you out? >> because i'm extremely good at providing information to the sherrive department and the district attorney's office and have been for years. >> mark cleveland was a jailhouse informant, a snitch. he ratted on other inmates in exchange for time off his sentence. >> the problem is the des operation to get out and the willingness of the district attorney to use us. we want out of jail, willing to do anything. >> and willing to say anything. >> and say anything, right. >> archaeologists often spend years digging and hoping they'll find remnants of ancient civilizations. there is a lot of ground yet to be uncovered. archaeologist sara parcak says less than 10% of the earth's surface has been explored so she's leading the way to speed
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up the search. >> what have you found? >> a lot. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whit whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm shar on alfonsi. >> i'm scott pelley 6789 those >> i'm scott pelley 6789 those mirnses.-- "60 minutes". but no matter what path i take, i go for my best. so if there's something better than warfarin, i'll go for that too. eliquis. eliquis reduced the risk of stroke better than warfarin, plus had less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis had both. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... ...and it may take longer than usual for any bleeding to stop.
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>> cooper: imagine if the watergate investigation had led not only to the downfall of president nixon, but also to allegations against his successor, plus the speaker of the house, the leader of the senate, a third of the cabinet, and more than 90 members of congress.
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that gives you some idea of what's happening in brazil right now. the country's stock market plunged this past week after a report that president michel temer had been caught on tape approving illegal pay-offs, a potentially impeachable offense. brazil's last president, dilma rousseff, was impeached. the country is suffering through one of its worst recessions in history, and a crisis of leadership caused in large part by a massive corruption investigation. it's known as operation car wash. it's one of the largest bribery cases ever investigated, and it's being led by a small group of idealistic young brazilian prosecutors and a crusading judge. in curitiba, a city far from the ruling elites of brasilia and sao paulo, a small band of prosecutors is working long hours in cramped quarters on the biggest investigation brazil has ever seen: operation car wash. how does car wash compare to watergate?
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>> deltan dallagnol: car wash is much, much bigger. >> cooper: deltan dallagnol is the lead prosecutor. bigger than watergate? >> dallagnol: much bigger. we already have charged-- more than 200 people for hundreds of crimes. the amount of bribes paid go up to about $2 billion. ( chanting ) >> cooper: the prosecutors say brazil's popular former president, luiz inacio lula da silva, was the mastermind of the scheme, and they've charged him with corruption and money- laundering. the country's current president, michel temer, has been implicated, and there are now calls for his impeachment. the once-powerful leader of the lower house has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. 34 senators and 62 representatives are under investigation. operation car wash also played a role in the downfall of a sitting president, brazil's first female leader, dilma rousseff.
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she was impeached in august for some technical violations of budget rules. rouseff wasn't charged with corruption, but for seven years, she'd been the chairwoman of the state-controlled company at the center of the investigation, and that contributed to the public anger that led to her ouster. >> dilma! >> cooper: we interviewed rousseff three weeks after she was impeached. did you ever receive any bribes? >> dilma rousseff ( translated ): no. and that's their problem when it comes to me: i never received any bribes. i am not charged with receiving bribes, i don't have any bank accounts abroad. >> cooper: i do think for some people, though, it's hard to believe that, as the chairwoman, you wouldn't have known something was going on. >> rousseff ( translated ): let me tell you, i did not know. >> cooper: it all began here, at a service station in the country's capital, which is why it's called operation car wash. this is where federal police found their first clues four
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years ago, and the trail that led to this man: paulo roberto costa, a former top executive at the government-controlled oil company, petrobras. petrobras was brazil's largest and most important company, responsible for exploiting the country's vast oil reserves. the police found evidence costa had accepted a bribe, and under pressure from investigators, he decided to talk, revealing that for years, senior petrobras managers and ruling politicians had been robbing the company-- and the country-- blind. when paulo roberto costa gave testimony in your court, what was that moment like? >> judge sergio moro: oh, that was the point of no return, maybe. >> cooper: sergio moro is the judge in curitiba who oversees operation car wash. the point of no return? >> judge moro: yes, it was like that movie, "the untouchables." >> sean connery: if you walk through this door now, you're walking into a world of trouble, and there's no turning back.
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you understand? >> kevin costner: yes, i do. >> cooper: you've watched "the untouchables." >> judge moro: yeah, it's a great movie. >> cooper: like elliott ness in "the untouchables," judge moro has become something of a folk hero. brazilians have had to put up with corruption for decades, and when judge moro and prosecutors began bringing the extent of the corruption to light, people poured into the streets to show their support, many wearing judge moro shirts and masks. the investigation became so popular, there's a bumper sticker that says, "i support lava jato," which means car wash in portuguese. the fight against corruption has often been a losing battle in brazil. judge moro says one reason operation car wash has been successful is that it's used u.s.-style plea bargaining to get some defendants to cooperate. judge moro and the prosecutors have also been willing to use controversial tactics to fight financial crime. when former petrobras executive
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paulo roberto costa implicated others in 2014, judge moro sent them to jail before trial. 20 top executives from eight major companies were held without bail for months. >> judge moro: i understood that we were living in exceptional circumstance because the corruption was so widespread. and you need to do something-- big to, to stop it. >> paulo galvao: this had never happened in brazil. >> cooper: prosecutor paulo galvao told us the arrests were a turning point. >> galvao: these are the people that had never been afraid of the law in brazil. this was the moment when these people started to see that they too were being targeted by car wash operation. >> cooper: soon, prosecutors were getting offers from frightened executives and politicians willing to cooperate and return money in order to avoid doing time. and the sums that had been stolen were astronomical.
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costa returned $23 million he'd hidden in swiss banks. it was the largest recovery in brazil's history... that is, until this former petrobras executive, pedro barusco, offered to return a whole lot more. >> dallagnol: he said that he had money abroad. and then somebody asked him, "oh, how many-- how much money do you have abroad?" and he said-- "ninety-- $97 million and-- " >> cooper: $97 million? >> dallagnol: yeah, yeah. it was too high a figure, for us to imagine. >> cooper: in some cases, petrobras executives laundered their money by buying artwork. police have confiscated so much art, they've mounted a show for the public at this museum in curitiba. the paintings may differ stylistically, but many share a common theme: they once hung on the walls of a petrobras executive now serving time in prison. if you're wondering how they got so much money out of a national oil company without anybody noticing, what happened with the
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building of the comperj refinery, 30 miles east of rio, is a good example. the multi-billion-dollar project was supposed to create more than 100,000 jobs. but today, the refinery sits unfinished, billions over budget, its future in doubt. the people who moved here for jobs had to wait on food lines instead. former petrobras executives now admit they allowed the cost of building the refinery to be hugely inflated by a cartel of construction companies. the construction companies then paid kick-backs to petrobras executives, and the politicians and political parties that got them their jobs. just to be clear, this was happening on every contract. this wasn't just every 10th contract. this was systematic? >> dallagnol: it was rule of the game. >> carlos lima ( translated ): it was the way politics in brazil gets financed. >> cooper: you believe this was a scheme of politicians who basically saw this company as a way to maintain power? >> galvao: that's exactly what--
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the way we see it, and in fact, we can see that the same scheme happened in other major state companies in brazil. >> cooper: in december, the prosecutors made one of their biggest breakthroughs yet. brazil's largest construction company, odebrecht, acknowledged its role in the bribery scheme and agreed to pay billions of dollars in penalties. odebrecht was a key member of the cartel of construction companies that secretly inflated the cost of comperj and other big projects. company executives now admit they had an entire unit that served as their "bribe department." as part of a deal made with prosecutors, the company's imprisoned c.e.o. and 76 other executives have given testimony against the politicians they've been bribing for more than a decade. odebrecht also admitted paying hundreds of millions of dollars to win business in 12 other countries, including argentina, peru, ecuador, colombia,
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venezuela, panama, guatemala, and mexico. the u.s. department of justice has called it "the largest foreign bribery case in history." you're threatening very powerful people. do you ever feel at risk-- for your safety? >> galvao: it's a different kind of risk. we don't feel personal threats in terms of safety, security. however, we are always facing the risk of being exposed of criticism to the investigations, to the investigators. so they are always trying to say that we are abusing. >> cooper: former president lula is among those who have criticized the prosecutors and judge moro, accusing them of violating defendants' civil rights. lula has been considering another run for the presidency in 2018, and in his first appearance in judge moro's courtroom two weeks ago, he told
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judge moro he thought the charges against him were politically motivated. a notion the judge rejected when we spoke with him in september. >> judge moro: nobody will be tried in court because of his political opinion. former president lula will have all the opportunities that our law gives to him to present his defense. >> cooper: the government that replaced dilma rousseff's got off to a shaky start. three ministers were forced to resign in the first month. the planning minister was caught on tape planning to undermine the car wash investigation. the transparency minister was caught giving advice on how to avoid transparency. as for the tourism minister, he was just accused of tax evasion and money laundering. things have only gone downhill from there. last month, brazil's supreme court authorized new investigations of nearly 100 politicians, including a third
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of the new president michel temer's current cabinet. and this past week, the supreme court authorized an investigation of president temer himself and released audiotapes in which he allegedly approved payments that were designed to buy the silence of a witness. president temer denies the allegations. in congress, some legislators under investigation have been fighting back, trying to pass new laws to protect themselves and curb the power of prosecutors and judges, threatening the very future of operation car wash. there's a lot of powerful interests who would like to see all of this go away. >> judge moro: yes. but, it's our responsibility to don't allow them to do that. we have to face the problem. and facing it i think we have, have a better country. i miss you babe. i wish you were here.
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geoffrey arend: daniel inouye, a world war ii veteran and a medal of honor winner. he was the first japanese-american to serve in the house of representatives. celebrate daniel inouye.
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>> alfonsi: orange county, california, an hour south of los angeles, is best known for its wealthy, sprawling suburbs, tony beach communities and disneyland. but lately, it has drawn unwanted attention from the california attorney general and the u.s. department of justice for the way its prosecutors use informants in its jails. used correctly, informants can be valuable assets to law enforcement to help bolster their cases. mis-used, their work can backfire, upsetting the scales of justice, reversing convictions, and freeing guilty criminals. that's what's happening in orange county. this is a story of two snitches. one who remains in jail; the other is back on the streets. but now, he's snitching on the
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prosecutors he once loyally served. how many times have you been arrested? >> mark cleveland: numerous. numerous, numerous. >> alfonsi: five, ten, 15? >> cleveland: over 100. let's say over 100. >> alfonsi: mark cleveland is a career criminal. a life of drug addiction etches his face and gave him a rap sheet nearly as textured. 40 years of petty crimes, burglaries, a hit and run. how are you out? >> cleveland: because i am extremely good at providing information to the sheriff's department and the district attorney's office, and have been for years. >> alfonsi: cleveland was a jailhouse informant: a snitch. he ratted on other inmates in exchange for time off his sentence. you were able to knock how much off your sentence? >> cleveland: well, 40, 40 years. >> alfonsi: because you were such a good informant? >> cleveland: yeah. >> alfonsi: we met cleveland at a hotel. he keeps a low profile these days, fearful that former jailmates may be seeking
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retribution for betraying them. during his decades behind bars, cleveland says he was willing to do almost anything law enforcement asked of him, because he wanted out. >> cleveland: the problem is, the desperation to get out, and the willingness of the district attorney to use us. and, unreliability, the propensity for unreliability is huge. i mean, we want outta jail, willing to do anything. and-- and you're-- >> alfonsi: and willing to say anything. >> cleveland: and say anything, right. >> alfonsi: snitches will lie? >> cleveland: oh, snitches do lie, every opportunity they-- if they need to, they will. it's about gettin' outta jail. what do i have to do to get outta jail? >> alfonsi: that's the end game for everybody? >> cleveland: sure. always has been. >> alfonsi: did you, mark cleveland, ever lie about information that you got from another inmate? >> cleveland: give wrong information? >> alfonsi: give wrong information. >> cleveland: --on another inmate? no, i, i, i'm sure that a lotta my information was probably, maybe tainted. >> alfonsi: cleveland explains he was part of a sophisticated, secret network of informants, tightly organized and directed
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by law enforcement inside the orange county jails. he says it worked like this: jail deputies would plant snitches like him near high- profile targets. then, the deputies guided the snitches to fish for information that might help bolster the prosecutors' cases. cleveland recalls one deputy asked him to target a member of the mexican mafia, a notorious gang that rules much of the prison turf in california. >> cleveland: he said "we want him on a murder. and if you could give us any information on that, i'll personally walk you out of the jails." >> alfonsi: he told you he would walk you out of the jail? >> cleveland: yeah. and i said, "well, i'm not in there with him." he said, "we'll just move you and we'll put you right there with him." >> alfonsi: for the most part, the people you were informing on, was it a coincidence that you heard what they said? or were you placed there? >> cleveland: i was placed there. it's something they do. >> alfonsi: he indicated it was something they do regularly. what cleveland is describing is unconstitutional.
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the integrity of the justice system is based on everybody following the rules. if an inmate just happens to hear and pass on incriminating information to prosecutors, that's okay. but inmates cannot be planted and directed to gather information from someone who's already been charged with a crime. if they do that, they are illegally acting as agents of law enforcement, which is exactly how mark cleveland saw himself. >> cleveland: what you see here in this briefcase, it's full of documents and, and copies of documents, and notes, and evidence of everything that i've done. >> alfonsi: cleveland showed us some of the meticulous handwritten copies of notes he sent to prosecutors. hundreds of pages, on dozens of cases, and he said whenever he needed to, he could call the district attorney's office to report on his jailmates. you had a direct line to the d.a.'s office? >> cleveland: i could get on the phone anytime i want night or day.
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>> alfonsi: i thought you were limited on how many phone calls you can make? >> cleveland: oh, you are, unless you're mark cleveland. >> alfonsi: it sounds like you were working for the district attorney's office. >> cleveland: i was. i was workin' right there with tony. i-- i would call him up and-- and he loved it. every time i'd call him, "oh, you know, this is great. we really appreciate it. >> alfonsi: "tony" is tony rackauckas, the orange county district attorney. >> alfonsi: mark cleveland. do you know who he is? does that ring a bell? >> tony rackauckas: i do know who he is. i remember him having been an informant many years ago in a case or two, but my memory on that actually is not that clear. >> alfonsi: rackaukus is a former judge and a veteran prosecutor, who has been re-elected four times as district attorney. he commands an office of 275 lawyers who handle 15,000 felony cases a year. his office is now under investigation by both state and federal authorities for the way it uses, and mis-uses, informants in the county jails.
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how should we take mark cleveland's statements that he made to us about all this? >> rauckaukas: i think you should assume you're talking to an informant. and if he's talking, he's probably lying. >> alfonsi: but this idea that, you know, he was part of this informant program and that he could just pick up the phone whenever he wanted and call the district attorney's office, you're saying it's not true? >> rackauckas: fantasy. it's fantasy. >> alfonsi: he told us that he was deliberately placed, by deputies in the jail, next to inmates to get information. is that true? >> rackauckas: no, it is not true. >> scott sanders: they deny, deny, deny. they basically say, "we don't have an informant program. there's no organized informant program. this is just a conspiracy theory on the part of the defense." >> alfonsi: assistant public defender scott sanders first uncovered the existence of a secret jailhouse informant program in orange county. his suspicions peaked back in 2011 after one of the worst days in orange county history. >> california highway patrol. >> we have some shootings here
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in seal beach. >> alfonsi: on a sparkling october afternoon, 41-year-old scott evans dekraai walked into a beauty salon and shot to death his ex-wife and seven others. minutes later, dekraai was arrested and quickly admitted his crime. d.a. rackauckas called a press conference: >> rackaukas: the only thing that might even approach justice in a case like this is to seek the death penalty." >> alfonsi: sanders, an assistant public defender for decades, was appointed to represent accused killer scott dekraai. a tough job, made even tougher when he learned his client had confessed to another inmate in the orange county jail, named only as "inmate f." the prosecutors tried to keep the informant's true identity hidden, arguing they needed to protect him. after months of relentless digging, sanders finally learned inmate "f" was fernando perez, a well-documented prolific snitch. >> sanders: the representations they made, was that fernando
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perez was just a good citizen who was looking for nothing in return, didn't want anything, and was just basically doing this out of the goodness of his heart. >> alfonsi: and you found he was a mexican mafia gang leader, and had three strikes against him, and was desperate to reduce time off of his-- >> sanders: right. and-- >> alfonsi: --sentence. >> sanders: he had already been-- he had been convicted. he was looking at a 25-to-life sentence. so he had all the incentive in the world to do every last thing he could do to gain favor with the prosecution. >> alfonsi: something sanders had seen before. another one of his clients, also accused of murder, also facing the death penalty, also just happened to confess to fernando perez. >> sanders: i was stunned. i mean, it was-- it was one of those moments where you kind of just look up and go, "what's going on here?" and that's really kind of the starting point. that realization is what propelled us forward. >> alfonsi: in voluminous court documents, sanders, a zealous opponent of the death penalty, accused the district attorney's office and sheriff's department of illegally planting perez in
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the cell next to dekraai, then trying to cover it up. they hid perez' long resume as an informant. was fernando perez deliberately placed next to dekraai in a jail cell? >> rackauckas: fernando perez was not deliberately placed next to, to dekraai in the orange county jail. dekraai was, was put there on a nurse's order, and fernando perez had already been there. >> alfonsi: it seems from the outside like a hell of a coincidence, that this guy who's a well-known and valuable informant is placed next to this high-profiled target. but you're saying it was just that, it was just a coincidence? >> rackauckas: it was just a coincidence. >> alfonsi: scott sanders says an amazing coincidence in a jail with 6,000 inmates. d.a. rackauckas insisted there was no jailhouse informant program. when mark cleveland heard that, he called assistant public defender scott sanders, and went back to his old job of snitching. but this time, he began informing on the prosecutors he once served.
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what did he tell you about how the jailhouse informant program works? >> sanders: he said we were onto something really bad, and then he started to describe things in details. and the details made sense. >> alfonsi: what did he tell you that was-- that you didn't know? >> sanders: we were really looking at a relatively small time period. and here comes mark cleveland and says, "no, no. it's been going on for years. let me take you back to the cases." >> rackauckas: it's simply not the case. that's just not who we are. we, we-- we prosecute cases in, you know, in, in, in a fair and ethical manner. >> alfonsi: how often does your office use jail house informants? >> rackauckas: not very often. informants are not the most reliable people around. they are, they are-- in fact-- unreliable, and everybody knows that. >> alfonsi: which is why cleveland says he, and many other inmates gathering information, were rarely called to testify. so, if you weren't testifying, what were they doing with all the information? >> cleveland: they were gettin' plea bargains on 'em. rather than have-- put me on the stand. >> alfonsi: they didn't want to put you on the stand? >> cleveland: no, they-- they didn't wanna put me on the stand. they don't wanna put any informant on the stand. >> alfonsi: tony rackauckas argued his prosecutors never
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intended to put ferando perez on the stand, either. but they did want to hear what scott dekraai told perez about the murders. prosecutors worried dekraai might plea insanity to avoid the death penalty, so they placed a bug in his cell and started recording as perez pumped him for details. >> rackauckas: it's not a bad thing to get evidence that would tend to rebut an insanity-- an insanity defense, so that a jury could hear him describing the murders and why he did it and, and, and what he did. >> alfonsi: but the judge threw out the confession. he said perez was acting as an agent of law enforcement when he egged on dekraai to tell him about the killings. a failed ploy, that has delayed justice for the families of scott dekraai's victims for years, in what should have been a slam dunk case. you had a great case, with dekraai. you had confessions, you had witnesses, you had motive. why risk it and use somebody like fernando perez as part of your case? >> rackauckas: well, look, we
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had a really good case, no question about it. when you listen to what it was that he had to say to perez, it was a very clear statement of his-- of, of what it was he was doing. his, his in-- his intent, his malice, his reasons. >> alfonsi: under mounting public and political pressure, the district attorney appointed a blue ribbon panel to look into what happened. they described the office as a "must-win mentality." they described your office as a "ship without a rudder." they said, "there's been a failure of leadership." >> rackauckas: you know, it's interesting they did say those things and they, they, they put that in the writing. and-- but i talked to them personally, and they really didn't have that to say, personally. it's getting around that there's some kind of a conspiracy or there's some kind of willingness to violate people's rights or, or to, to, to not give people a fair trial. that's a false narrative. that's just-- that's simply not true. >> alfonsi: okay, so clarify it for me. >> rackauckas: so the public defender made a lot of allegations, of all kinds of criminal conduct, of ter-- of terrible things. and, and believe me-- and if those things were true, we should be in jail, frankly. if those things were true, that
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would be very bad. >> alfonsi: but what about the allegation that the office withheld evidence? >> rackauckas: the office did not withhold evidence; we have not withheld any evidence. >> alfonsi: he told us that, even after the judge disagreed. the judge ruled jail deputies working for the d.a.'s office "intentionally lied or willfully withheld material evidence" about the secret informant program. the judge went on to say that even if the prosecutors didn't know deputies were hiding evidence, they should have. and then, the judge went even further. convinced dekraai could not get a fair trial from orange county prosecutors. he kicked the entire office, all 275 of them, off the case. dekraai still hasn't been sentenced, and the informant debacle has led to the unraveling of a half dozen cases, putting murderers and thugs back on the street. as for fernando perez, inmate f, his snitching paid off. instead of a life in prison, a judge sentenced him to spend
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another few years in protective custody and then he'll be released, as a reward for all his snitching. the u.s. department of justice, the california attorney general and a local grand jury are all now investigating both the d.a.'s office and the sheriff's department. when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of patients had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. in fact, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin. do not use if you are allergic to taltz. before starting you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them.
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parcak uses satellite photos to locate ancient sites, and she's finding them-- thousands. it's called space archaeology and it's transforming the field. we met sarah parcak in egypt doing what she loves most, digging in the dirt. our journey took us past the most famous archaeological site on earth-- the pyramids of giza rising from the egyptian desert. here and elsewhere, modern egypt is built next to and often on top of ancient egypt. from cairo, we traveled 40 miles south, and almost 4,000 years back in time, to the village of lisht. today, the people of lisht bury their dead in a cemetery at the edge of town, in the same place that ancient egyptians buried their dead. >> sarah parcak: every day, i come to the site. and it just blows my mind, you know, and this is just one tomb.
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>> whitaker: at the age of 38, sarah parcak is leading the excavation of a tomb that's 3,800 years old. were all of the tombs this elaborate? >> parcak: no, no. so this is special. this is a big rock-cut tomb of a wealthy middle kingdom official. it's big. >> whitaker: we watched parcak's team meticulously dig with trowels and brushes. after three weeks of this, the tomb buried for millennia was slowly revealed. most of the discoveries were fragments of pots and inscribed stones. that changed the morning we arrived. sarah, what is this? what... what have you found? >> parcak: so this is beautiful. >> whitaker: ohhh, a hand. >> parcak: this is amazing. >> whitaker: look at this. you've got an arm there-- >> parcak: this is a limestone block that was part of this-- probably part of this tomb. >> whitaker: so this is a big find? >> parcak: it's a very big find. it's the biggest find of our season.
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>> whitaker: the stone is part of a much larger slab. look closely and you can make out the lower half of a seated person and the hand of another. oh, look at that. that's incredible. who's buried here was a mystery, until parcak's team solved it. she took us to an alcove at the back of the tomb where they discovered this stone tablet with a name: >> parcak: intef, intef. >> whitaker: intef. it describes a powerful man, head of the pharaoh's treasury and overseer of his army. parcak showed us the tablet is damaged and she wondered whether intef's enemies desecrated his tomb. >> parcak: was he corrupt? was he-- did he step on too many people on his way to the top? who was this guy? ( laughs ) what did he do? but that's what makes archeology interesting. it's like you're reading the ancient version of the "national enquirer" in slow time, right. i often get asked, you know, especially when we're excavating-- in tombs-- "don't you feel bad? you're disturbing these people.
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you know, they wanted to be left alone." yes, that's true. but on the flipside, the ancient egyptians, they wanted their names to be remembered. >> whitaker: to let them live on. >> parcak: yeah. and intef and his mom and his children-- you know, now the world knows them and knows who they are. >> whitaker: once freed from the earth, the ancient slab was hoisted using ancient methods. local villagers do the heavy lifting. the man in charge is omar farouk. they call you "reis"? >> omar farouk: yes. >> whitaker: what does that mean? >> farouk: they call me "reis," this mean, yani, "the chief." >> whitaker: you're the chief? archaeology has been the farouk family business since the earliest digs in egypt in the late 19th century. omar's father, his grandfather and great-grandfather oversaw digs like this one. for him, there's pride in both the work and the connection to ancient civilization.
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>> farouk: you know, you say you are pharaonic people. >> whitaker: you are pharaonic people-- >> farouk: ( laughs ) yeah. >> whitaker: you are from the pharaohs? >> farouk: exactly. >> parcak: and we think the pyramids were built by aliens. like, all you have to do is watch these-- these modern egyptian men move a big stone. that's it, that's how the pyramids were build, by-- >> whitaker: you think this is how they built the pyramids? >> parcak: yeah, using, you know, ramp systems-- large groups of men moving stones. it's, it's not rocket science, as it were. >> whitaker: from the first pharaohs to the roman conquest, ancient egyptian civilization lasted more than 3,000 years. many of the most impressive artifacts are inside the famed cairo museum. but sarah parcak, a well-known egyptologist, is convinced most of ancient egypt remains undiscovered. here at intef's tomb, she's digging for the main burial chamber. parcak is adept at this old school archaeology, but she's ushering in a new school of the science.
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she's making discoveries from 400 miles above the earth, while sitting at her desk. she gets infrared photos from digital globe, a commercial satellite company, and looks for shapes, like circles and squares, not usually found in nature and not easily visible on the ground, that indicate human activity. so what have you found? >> parcak: a lot. i'm at the point where i can't keep track. >> whitaker: parcak has found more than 3,000 ancient settlements in egypt; roman sites across europe and north africa; viking sites in iceland. >> parcak: so, we're going to look up here. >> whitaker: one of her early important finds was in a farm field near the ancient roman city of portus. it's a site in italy where archaeologists have been digging for a decade, but hadn't been able to find the city's amphitheater-- until sarah parcak looked at the satellite photos. >> parcak: what you see in this
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image are-- fields. but you can't really see much of anything. >> whitaker: not much. >> parcak: so we can go to the next image. so, if you see a circle right here-- and what you're looking at is the likely amphitheater of portus. it's in that field. >> whitaker: how 'bout that! and from the surface, you would see nothing? >> parcak: absolutely nothing, walking over the top of it. >> whitaker: so your satellite sensors are not peering through the ground? >> parcak: uh-uh, no. >> whitaker: you're looking for subtle variations on top of the ground? >> parcak: right. so, every site in the world is covered by different things, whether it's some kind of soil or sand or vegetation. and all of those things are going to be affected in different ways by what's buried beneath the ground, depending on whether it's a ditch or a stone wall or a mud brick building. so it's figuring out, it's puzzling out, what's there? what's it made of? then and only then can you begin processing the image. >> whitaker: at the portus farm field, that processing shows vegetation, colored orange,
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that's less healthy than the surrounding crop because of the stones that lie beneath. parcak teases out the underlying features that can't be seen with the naked eye, using sophisticated digital editing. it's like a souped-up photoshop. just look at this satellite photo of egypt's ancient city of tanis. parcak fine-tunes the image to turn desert sand into a detailed map, and the structures from a place called medinet maadi seem to rise from ground. >> parcak: it almost is at the point where it feels like cheating, where you can see everything from hundreds of miles in space. and it's like that everywhere. >> whitaker: was this new technique welcomed by the community of archeologists? >> parcak: when my colleagues and i started finding not just one thing, or two things, but thousands of things, i think our colleagues were skeptical. "how is it possible that you could be looking in this place that we've been looking for 30 years, and you're seeing thousands of things?"
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now, everyone's using it. >> whitaker: sarah parcak now is making it possible for everyone to look for ancient sites through her new project: globalxplorer. it's a website that invites armchair explorers to flip through satellite images of peru. since it started in january, people have examined more than 11 million photos, and may have found thousands of unknown sites. the site in egypt where parcak is digging has been known to archaeologists for decades. but when parcak looked at satellite photos of the area, she saw what others didn't-- signs of rampant looting. you can actually see the holes dug by the looters-- >> parcak: yes, easily. easily. >> whitaker: --from space. easily? >> parcak: it's very clear. it's not like ambiguous blobbiness, it-- you can see before and then after. and there are over 800 of them here. >> whitaker: over 800 of them? >> parcak: uh-huh, yes. >> whitaker: this is the satellite photo of the area from 2010. here's the same location in
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2013. the dark spots are looting pits. looting spiked after the arab spring in 2011, as tourism plummeted and many of the sites were left unprotected. the area was ravaged, and after parcak shared the photos with the egyptian government, it asked her to excavate intef's tomb to preserve and protect what remains. >> parcak: there's one there. they tried one down there, it didn't work. >> whitaker: parcak showed us the looting pits seen from space are all around the ancient cemetery, and she believes the fragments of bones and artifacts scattered around intef's tomb are debris left behind by looters. do you think the looters have gotten most of the antiquities from these tombs already? >> parcak: so it's this question, you know: how long is a piece of string? how much is left after thousands of years? and we all know that looting is part of the human condition. many of these tombs were robbed in antiquity.
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you know, i-- i'm never going to be able to tell you what was in a hole after the looters got there. >> whitaker: so these tombs have been looted since ancient times? >> parcak: uh-huh. they have been. >> whitaker: it's not just a modern phenomenon? >> parcak: no, no, no, no. it's been going on for thousands of years. >> whitaker: the objects stolen by modern looting can be bought from ritzy galleries, auction houses and through online sites like ebay. last november, the u.s. recovered these looted antiquities, including a child's sarcophagus and a mummified hand and returned them to the egyptian embassy. they're among hundreds of objects that egypt has repatriated from around the world. some go on display in a special exhibit at the cairo museum. >> parcak: the most important thing for archeological discovery is context. where did something come from? then you can begin to understand its function, its importance. that's why for us, as archeologists, looting is such a huge problem. because when an object is taken out of its original context, we don't know where it comes from.
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we can't tell you anything about it, aside from, "well, it's a mummy," or, "it's a statue." but that's kind of it. the story doesn't get told. >> whitaker: archaeology is methodical hard work. the dirt that's removed is carefully sifted for smaller pieces of stone, bone and pottery. parcak assembled a team of specialists to eke out every last clue from what they find. >> rexine hummel: i'm always euphoric when i'm here. >> whitaker: rexine hummel and bettina bader specialize in the jigsaw pieces of pots. amazingly, you can see the thumbprint from the person who made this one. >> bettina bader: you are very close to the man or woman who made this. >> whitaker: how about that? >> bader: how do you feel now? >> whitaker: just touching something that's thousands of years old is just kind of electric. >> bader: and you see the person's fingerprints and it draws me close to this stuff because they have used it-- they have made it, they have used it. >> whitaker: they've touched it
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and now you're touching it. >> bader: exactly. >> parcak: that's what pulls you back every year. like, the story is never finished, ever. >> whitaker: you find a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more. >> parcak: every year. >> whitaker: we saw the wonders of ancient egypt emerging from the desert sand. sarah parcak says, imagine what more can be found, peering down from space. >> for a look at how "60 minutes" reports its stories as well as interviews with quor kors-- correspondents and producers go to 6-- 60 minutes kors-- correspondents and producers go to 6-- 60 minutes overtime.k078. vebalanced, our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something...
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>> pelley: in the mail this week: viewers' comments on last sunday's reprise of our 2014 interview with then-f.b.i. director james comey. "it was far more relevant and revelatory today than when it first aired. despite his recent mistakes, comey remains the epitome of strength, intelligence and but there was also this: i'm scott pelley. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." tomorrow, be sure to watch "cbs this morning," and i'll see you on the "cbs evening news."


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